SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

(Re)contextualising the Dong Duong Buddhist art gallery at the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Da Nang

Duyen Nguyen (SOAS)

Date: 28 October 2021Time: 12:00 PM

Finishes: 28 October 2021Time: 2:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Lecture

This event is part of the Decolonising Curating and the Museum in Southeast Asia lecture series.

The Đồng Dương Buddhist gallery at the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Da Nang
The Đồng Dương Buddhist gallery at the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Da Nang

Abstract

Constructed in 875 CE under the reign of Indravarman II, the Đồng Dương Monastery was once the largest Buddhist sites of the Champa kingdoms. Excavations conducted by the École française d'Extrême-Orient in the early 20th century unearthed numerous Buddhist artefacts dating to around the 9th and 10th centuries, which are today exhibited at many museums in Vietnam and abroad. This lecture critically examines the Đồng Dương Buddhist gallery at the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Da Nang. It argues that the current display is an attempt to re-contextualize the original landscape of the Đồng Dương monastery and the significance of the Đồng Dương Buddhist art tradition. However, due to the employment of modern “museological devices”, insufficient interpretation and the gaps caused by absent objects it is argued that what results is a de-contextualized display which is largely inaccessible to museum viewers. My analysis of the display also aims to provide a context within which we can see problems in the curation of this gallery from the colonial to the post-colonial period.

Duyen Nguyen

Speaker Biography

Duyen Nguyen is a PhD candidate in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is also a staff member of the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Vietnam. Her research focuses on the sculptural art of Champa and other museological issues.

Discussant Biography

Rie Nakamura received a Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington. She was a program officer at the Toyota Foundation. She taught at the School of International Studies at the University Utara Malaysia. She is currently a visiting researcher at the Asian Cultures Research Institute in Toyo University, Japan.

Registration

This event is free and open to public. If you would like to attend the event please register. Please register via Zoom.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies and SOAS Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme

Contact email: centres@soas.ac.uk